The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


August 14, 2012

Carthage's Whitehead, Morgan 'double winners'

Track athlete Charles Whitehead, who graduated this past spring from Carthage High School, said he was a “double winner” on Monday.

A signing ceremony was held for Whitehead, who plans to run cross country and track at Webster University of St. Louis, and he joined Kaylee Morgan in receiving Erick Grove scholarships.

Morgan, of course, already had signed with Missouri Southern to continue her track career.

Erick Grove, who still holds the Carthage High School record in the 1,600, died in an industrial accident in Carthage on June 10, 1991 after his freshman year at Southeast Missouri State in Cape Girardeau. Parents Donna and Rick Grove joined Tiger coach Andy Youngworth in presenting the scholarships.

Whitehead is joining an NCAA Division III program that competes in the St, Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Kelly Parsley is the Gorloks’ head coach. He’s assisted by Heather Kelley and Scotty Barnes.

Whitehead, the son of Jonnalee Whitehead, said the opportunity to major in film was the No. 1 reason he’s headed for Webster.

Whitehead, who believes he ranked “18th or 19th” academically in the senior class, isn’t sure what distances are ahead in track.

Coach Youngworth said Whitehead, as a senior, ran the open 800 and 1,600 and was on the 1,600 and 3,200 relay teams.

“Charles (a 6-foot, 170-pounder) really has come a long way,” Youngworth said. “He was surrounded by great role models early in his Tiger career. He contributed early and was thrown into the pressure cooker.

“I think,” Youngworth added with a grin, “that he took a while last year to become a team leader. Maybe he was thinking too much. For sure, cross country is his niche.

“Charles (a two-time state qualifier in cross sountry) can become a real success,” Youngworth said. “He needs to stay patient and focused on running and academics.”

Kaylee, the daughter of Patricia Morgan-Moore and Darrell Moore, said she’s been working out under Southern guidance.

The 5-8 Morgan, also a standout for the Tigers in basketball and softball, said plans call for her to tackle the heptathlon for the Lions.

Erick Grove’s name also is kept alive by the Grove family annually presenting a plaque to the winner of “Erick’s Mile” in the Carthage Invitational and “Erick’s Run” — launched by the family and continued by Youngworth — in January.

“Yes, I get emotional,” Youngworth said. “Erick would be about 39 or 40. He probably would be a dad with a boy or girl and maybe competing for Carthage.”

Text Only
High School Sports
Missouri Southern Sports
Pittsburg State Sports